A Memo From the CEO

July 9th, 2008 • Category: Gospel of Luke
by Ben Lamb

Today’s scripture: Luke 13:1-5 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Ben Lamb):

Wow! Talk about straightforward language with no wiggle room. Jesus puts it on the line in plain and simple terms: repent or else.

I can imagine some people standing at their designated location (pulpit, street corner, Hollywood movie set, kitchen table, etc.) with Bible held high, screaming “Repent, ye evil wicked sinner!” at the top of their lungs and quoting this verse as a backup. However…

Jesus doesn’t use any exclamation mark when he’s talking to his audience in this passage. He does make his point in a matter of fact way which doesn’t seem to scare people. Have you ever been so scared from being screamed at that your brain goes numb? I suspect Jesus was so intent on driving home the importance of this point that he wanted his listeners’ brains to be attentive, and so that’s why he chose not to yell.

By using current events of the day (recent massacre, recent building collapse), his listeners got an understanding of how quickly and unexpectedly human life can end.

Plus, Jesus made an additional point. Common Jewish belief of the time included the idea that God punished people through physical pain. Jesus declared that those people who recently died weren’t any worse sinners that the very people to whom he was talking at the time. (Get the idea? We’re all equal in God’s eyes. So there’s hope for each and every one of us. Yay!)

I’ll admit, verse 5 (…but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did) confuses me. Maybe Jesus was speaking spiritually, not physically — without repentance, there will be spiritual death, not that everyone will have a building fall on their heads.

But, since I’m a follower of Jesus and am willing to repent (admit my mistakes and turn my life to becoming a follower of Jesus), I no longer need to be worried about the “will all perish” part. I’m going to be with Jesus in heaven after I die!

Thought for the day:  Life after death is sooo much longer than life before death. Are you making preparations for both?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading.  If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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